Deontay Wilder vs. Andy Ruiz Jr on Eddie Hearn’s target list

By Boxing News - 02/19/2023 - Comments

By Jake Tiernan: Eddie Hearn says he wants to try and sign free agent heavyweight Deontay Wider to his Matchroom Boxing stable so he can put together a fight between him and former IBF, WBA & WBO unified champ Andy Ruiz Jr.

Hearn might be making a mistake if he signs Wilder because he will likely resist his idea of picking his opponents out for him. In Wilder’s interview this week, he said he’s interested in fighting former UFC champion Francis Ngannou and another MMA guy.

It appears that Wilder is going the Floyd Mayweather Jr route by focusing on fighting non-boxers in exhibition matches to make easy money matches that supply no sporting value.

“Absolutely,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV when asked if he was going to try and sign the free agent Deontay Wilder. “I would love to make Deontay Wilder against Andy Ruiz.

“I think it’s a great fight. It’s been ordered, and we would love to try and make it happen. He’s a free agent; there you go,” said Hearn.

Hearn can certainly TRY and make Wilder-Ruiz, but unless he’s ready to drag both of them into the ring kicking & screaming, it doesn’t seem likely. Ruiz only fights old guys in their 40s nowadays, whereas Wilder wants easy fights against MMA fighters.

If Hearn signs Wilder, he could be stuck with an albatross and be butting heads with him each time he suggests that he fight boxers.

It’s sad that Wilder and Tyson Fury have both seemingly moved away from boxing towards the circus fights against MMA guys, but it tells you that they’ve lost their love for the sport and are no longer serious boxers.

It’s unknown why Hearn is so excited about matching former WBC champion Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) against Ruiz because it would be a far bigger fight if he were to make a mega-clash between Anthony Joshua & Deontay.

Joshua-Wilder would be a far bigger fight than putting together a match between Deontay and the unambitious 33-year-old Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs), who has fought just twice in the last four years since his loss to Joshua in their rematch in 2019.

Whatever popularity Ruiz once had in the United States, it’s disappeared due to his inactivity and his decision to fight two 40+-year-old heavyweights, Chris Arreola and Luis Ortiz.

Many boxing fans believe the money Ruiz made from his two fights against Joshua destroyed his desire to stay busy and take on the best in the division.